New president. Same pandemic.
Play • 19 min

The day before President Joe Biden took the oath of office, the U.S. passed another grim milestone: 400,000 Covid deaths. Dispatch's Jeremy Siegel talks with health reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein about how Biden plans to overhaul the federal pandemic response and speed up vaccine distribution. 

Stay up-to-date on the latest Covid-19 news by subscribing to the POLITICO Nightly and POLITICO Pulse newsletters. And subscribe to our other newsletter POLITICO Future Pulse, looking at where health care and technology intersect. 

Jeremy Siegel  is a host for POLITICO Dispatch and produces Pulse Check.
Alice Miranda Ollstein is a health care reporter. 
Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio.
Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.

We the People
We the People
National Constitution Center
Arizona Election Rules at SCOTUS
On March 2, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. The case centers on two of Arizona’s election rules: 1. Arizona does not count provisional ballots cast in person on Election Day outside of the voter’s designated precinct and 2. its ballot-collection law permits only certain persons (family and household members, caregivers, mail carriers, and elections officials) to handle another person’s completed early ballot. The DNC challenged the rules, arguing that both discriminate against racial minorities in Arizona. On appeal, the Supreme Court will consider whether both policies violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965—which prohibits nationally any election laws or policies that “results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color”—and whether the second violates the 15th Amendment—which states that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Chris Kieser of Pacific Legal Foundation, who wrote a brief in support of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and Sean Morales-Doyle of the Brennan Center, who wrote a brief in support of the DNC, explore the case and its potential implications in conversation with Jeffrey Rosen. Resources and transcript available at Questions or comments about the show? Email us at
55 min
Trend Lines
Trend Lines
World Politics Review
Why Innovation Will Be Key to Africa’s Post-COVID Rebuilding
Most African countries have fared relatively well in their responses to the coronavirus pandemic, reporting rates of infection and mortality that are far below those seen across much of Europe and the Americas. Yet Africa is expected to take a huge economic hit from the pandemic and its associated containment measures, with the African Development Bank forecasting that an additional 50 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty across the continent. Vaccination drives and economic relief packages will certainly be important to contain the damage. But according to author and researcher Efosa Ojomo, emerging-market nations should be aiming to build societies that are more resilient to economic shocks like the pandemic. This week on Trend Lines, Ojomo joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman to discuss how the concept of “market-creating innovations” can foster broad-based solutions to poverty and other social problems in the wake of the pandemic. Ojomo is the head of the Global Prosperity research group at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, and a co-author of “The Prosperity Paradox: How innovation can lift nations out of poverty.” Relevant Articles on WPR: Africa Is a Coronavirus Success Story So Far, If Only the World Would Notice How Africa’s Surging Technology Sector Can Reach Its Full Potential Tech Giants Are Engaged in a New Scramble for Africa The Continued Relevance of Informal Finance in Development Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie. To send feedback or questions, email us at
28 min
Politics with Amy Walter
Politics with Amy Walter
The Future of American Politics
After four tumultuous years of the Trump presidency, President Joe Biden promised to put the chaos behind him and return the country to normalcy. While dysfunction and partisan gridlock in Washington were amplified during Trump’s tenure, it existed long before he arrived. Even so, it’s clear that the political divide has become deeper and democracy is more vulnerable than ever. On the final episode of Politics with Amy Walter, Astead Herndon, national political reporter for The New York Times, Adam Serwer, staff writer at The Atlantic, and Susan Glasser, staff writer for The New Yorker, join Amy Walter for a conversation about the future of American politics. One of the takeaways from the 2016 election was to constantly question our assumptions about voting behavior. Democratic dominance in the so-called Blue Wall states of the midwest is no longer assured and neither is the GOP hold on states like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas. Even so, the assumptions about demographics, specifically the role that race has on voting preferences, continue. For years, conventional wisdom suggested that higher overall turnout would result in more wins for Democrats. And while Biden won seven million more votes than Trump, he only carried the electoral college by around 40,000 votes. Record turnout helped Democrats win in Georgia, but it also helped Republicans hold onto vulnerable Senate seats in Iowa and North Carolina. Chryl Laird, assistant professor of government and legal studies at Bowdoin College, Julia Azari, associate professor of political science at Marquette University, and Mark Hugo Lopez, director of global migration and democracy research at Pew Research Center, describe the nuances of the electorate and debunk the assumptions we make based on demographics. Politics with Amy Walter Theme: "Enter the Dragon" by J. Cowit is currently available for free here. Amy's Final Take I have had the great privilege and honor to host this show every week for the last 2 and a half years. And I am so very grateful to those who made this possible - WNYC, PRX, and the amazing team of professionals who work so hard on making sure that we get the best possible product on the air. Over the last few years, political reporting has become more about generating outrage than seeking to explain. Covering the loudest and most controversial voices, while ignoring those who are doing the work at keeping our democracy alive. The goal of this show was to be the opposite of all of this. We wanted to help people understand that politics wasn’t meant to be distilled in 140 characters. That curiosity is one of our most valuable - and underappreciated - assets. That doesn’t mean that I want politics to be neat and clean. It’s messy. And, that’s ok. The more voices in the mix mean that we are hearing from people whose stories were once left out of our political narratives. But, messy doesn’t have to mean dysfunctional. What we need more than anything in this moment is leadership. Instead of throwing up their hands and saying “well, it’s what people want” or “it’s what the market demands” leaders set boundaries and are willing to be unpopular for doing so. I also wanted every show to convey a sense of humility and empathy. To Accept that you don’t always have the answers or that sometimes the people you may not always agree with have some pretty good ideas. Covering this moment in American politics has been an amazing experience. Thank you for taking this crazy journey with me. And, while I won’t be at this microphone every week, I will be popping on every now and then to talk with Tanzina about politics and Washington. You can also catch me every Monday on PBS NewsHour or read my weekly column at I leave you with this: our politics is only as broken as we allow it to be. Show up. Speak up. Listen more, shout less.
54 min
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